monthly health topic

5 Ways with Pumpkin

Make the most of the autumn harvest! See our useful tips for 5 ways to use Pumpkin

Monthly Health Topic

5 Ways with Pumpkin

Make the most of the autumn harvest!

The best pumpkins to cook with are mini, sugar, cheese, and pie pumpkins which are smaller and have a rich, sweet flavor. The orange color of pumpkin gives away its amazing health benefits! The flesh of pumpkin is an excellent source of vitamin A and a good source of vitamin C. It is low in calories, fat, and sodium. Pumpkin puree is the base for many recipes and is easy to make. A four-pound pumpkin yields about 1 ½ cups of puree. If you don’t have the time or desire to cook your own pumpkin, no worries, canned solid-pack pumpkin is a very consistent, high-quality product.

  1. Start fresh. It’s easy! Turn your fresh pumpkins into pumpkin puree in a few simple steps:
    • Wash pumpkin thoroughly, then cut in half (or into wedges if pumpkin is too large for your pan.) Scoop out fibers and discard. Save seeds for roasting.
    • Place pumpkin wedges in a shallow baking pan with 1” of water. Cover with lid or foil.
    • Bake at 375ºF approx. 30 minutes or until fork tender. Allow to cool; cut cooked flesh from rind and puree for use in your favorite recipes. (For smoother consistency, press pumpkin through a fine strainer or strain through cheesecloth.)
    • Freeze extra to use all year round!
  2. Craving something savory? Whip up a batch of warm pumpkin soup or use puree in delicious pasta dishes. Find these recipes, along with many others, in our Savory Recipe Center.
    View pumpkin & sausage penne recipe

  3. Better Baked Goods!: Add fresh or canned pumpkin to some of your favorite sweet treats. It has a natural sweet flavor, and when used in baked goods and breakfast staples, it keeps recipes moist while using less fat! Try swapping out half of the fat (butter, oil, shortening) for pumpkin puree, for a lighter spin on your fall favorites.
    View pumpkin pancake recipe

  4. Face it: pumpkin is great for your skin! You’ll fall in love with this soothing, all-natural Honey Pumpkin Facial Mask recipe.
    • ¼ cup pumpkin puree (A source of healing vitamin A)
    • 2 tsp honey (a natural humectant)
    • a bit of milk or heavy cream to thin to desired consistency (to moisturize dry, flaky skin)
    • Whisk all ingredients together. Apply gently to face, avoiding eye area. Leave on for 10 minutes, then rinse and pat dry.
  5. Pumpkin Seeds!: Jack-o'-lantern or large field pumpkins tend to have stringy, watery flesh, so they may not be the best for cooking, however, inside these Halloween pumpkins are one of the most nutritious and flavorful seeds around. Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are are rich in the mineral magnesium. They are also a good source of protein, iron, zinc and heart healthy monounsaturated fats. Roast these delicious seeds and eat them as a nutritious snack, or add them to salads and trail mixes!

  6. Get crafty!: Jack o’lanterns are a fall must-carve, but the decorative potential of pumpkins doesn’t stop there! Pick up various sizes of mini-pumpkins and hollow them out through a hole in the top, then fill with fresh or dried fall-colored flowers. Your pumpkin arrangement will keep for several days, and makes a lovely centerpiece for your Thanksgiving celebration.